Growing up in the Detroit area, it was pretty easy to take Greek food for granted. There is literally a Greektown in Detroit and Greek food can be found in every suburb. LA, however, is not so fortunate in this Mediterranean fare. Thus, I was pretty excited when I was invited out to the Good Greek Grill‘s new location in Hollywood for a free sampling of their food.
I try to stay abreast of all new burger happenings around LA and it’s even better when I have a connection to one of them. This was how I learned about Hollywood Burger, which originated overseas, but finally opened in real Hollywood a couple of months ago. The manager treated me to a free meal, so I was able to pick out a few things to try out to see how Hollywood Burger would fare in a city full of oh so many good burgers.
The 24-hour restaurant is a fascinating creature. Quite often, it’s a place that couldn’t quite exist if it were to function only at normal business hours, instead preying on the tired, the drunk and the early risers. To these people, any food is good food, which is why the food is often subpar. It takes a particularly ballsy restaurant to open itself all day and make an attempt at good, unique food, and that’s where kitchen24 comes in.
Deep in the heart of the Hollywood Strip is a burger that rivals Umami Burger. Or so a coworker told me once upon a time. That once upon a time may have been over a year ago, but I never forgot, so when I had the chance to meet some buddies for dinner in Hollywood, Lucky Devils crept into my mind (and it didn’t hurt that it has been sitting on my to-eat list). What we found was a neat space with a great and enthusiastic server who was happy to tell us of their current specials, some awesome beers on tap and help us out with anything on the menu. Even though I had sworn not to drink, his description of their special black IPA on tap almost had my mouth watering enough to break the promise I made to myself.
Right around the time that Coney Dog was hitting LA straight out of Detroit, Papaya King was also making its way to the West Coast by way of some other city called New York. Never heard of it. Billboards glowed with the words “Papaya King,” yet this native Detroiter largely ignored the hot dogs of New York in favor of those from his native land. But when a Blackboard Eats discount for 30% off came around, Papaya King could no longer be ignored. I gathered a couple hot dog-loving friends and hit the road for Hollywood.
The first thing that should be made clear about Papaya King is that there are absolutely no papayas in the hot dogs. Yes, this is a little disappointing, but there is still very good reason for the name of the place. It is actually named for the papaya juice served there, which predated the hot dogs at the original New York location. That papaya juice is still important, but not nearly as much as the hot dogs.
Normally, when you hear about a restaurant in a hotel, it is overpriced and pretentious, meant more for business people with an expense account than for the common man. So when I heard that the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel had a delicious restaurant called 25 Degrees, I was a bit skeptical. But then I heard more and more about the place until my buddy over at Burger Conquest told me it was his favorite burger in LA. That was quite a claim for a city filled with the likes of Umami, The Apple Pan and Hole in the Wall, so I took it seriously.
Joining the ever-growing ranks of custom burger joints is a little place in Hollywood, called Juicy Burger. Just opened last year, Juicy Burger quickly earned rave reviews, and in a burger-wild city like LA, that isn’t easy to do. The custom burger concept is something I never tire of, because the very core of the concept protects me from vegetables, but how many do we really need? And what sets Juicy Burger apart from its delicious competition?
On my way to see In the Heights (I’m cultured!) at LA’s Pantages Theater, I had no time to eat any food. I also had no idea what kind of food even existed on that part of town. The Hollywood Strip is quite the foreign territory for me. After parking at a failed meter (score), I whipped out my Urban Spoon to see what it would show me. After sifting through a couple of dead ends, I found Dos Burritos and walked in to see what it could offer me.
Some bars are known for their food, some bars don’t have any food (losers) and some bars happen to have food, but aren’t exactly known for it. Capitol City, a semi-new sports bar in Hollywood is one of the latter. Nonetheless, there was a football game to be watched and it happened to fall during happy hour, so Capitol City became my dinner and drinks destination for the night.
First off, their happy hour is pretty badass by the looks. It includes some pretty decent beers, including Blue Moon for four bucks, which is as good as you’re gonna get in Hollywood. Drinks aside, they have some great-looking $5 appetizers, so after downing a couple Blue Moons, I decided to order their wings.